Winter Warning to Biden Administration (New England Energy Shortages Ahead?)

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr. — November 15, 2022

“Natural gas shortages and reliability concerns in New England are neither short-term, nor unanticipated…. ISO-New England and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have for many months called attention to the very real reliability issues likely to face the region in the coming winter months due to insufficient supply of natural gas.”

“New England power plants generated an estimated 4.18 million metric tons of CO2 in January 2022, up from 2.77 million metric tons in January 2021, with the region’s heavier reliance on oil accounting for most of the difference.” (INGAA, below)

Government intervention creates emergencies and shortages unlike self-interested transactions within a true free market. This was true a century ago with World War I planning; and it remains true today.

The 1970s oil and gas shortages should have taught politicians that price and allocation controls do not work. Infrastructure obstructionism can cause price spikes and physical shortages too, as demand outraces supply.

A decade of natural gas obstruction in New England has resulted in LNG overreliance/price inflation on the one hand and relatively ‘dirty’ fuel substitution on the other. Why the worst of all worlds?

Why? Because the “greens” want to push home and business electrification by making natural gas artificially scarce and expensive. But wind and solar are not the answer where citizens are vetoing their machinery, and intermittency dooms reliable service. Consumer pain ahead ….


A November 7, 2022, letter from Interstate Natural Gas Association of America President and CEO Amy Andryszak to President Biden concerns this very issue. Excerpts follow:

I am writing to further underscore the concerns … about the New England region’s growing uneasiness about electric reliability and corresponding price spikes during cold winter months.

I encourage your Administration to pursue a long-term solution that addresses the root cause of the region’s long-standing electric reliability problems—a lack of adequate natural gas infrastructure—rather than focus only on short-term, “emergency” solutions that were neither intended nor designed to address systemic issues like those present in New England….

New England will need natural gas to meet its power needs both this winter and into the foreseeable future…. Unfortunately, there is insufficient infrastructure connecting New England to domestic natural gas supplies and recent attempts to expand existing infrastructure at the request of local utilities and other energy users have been thwarted by misguided policies and vocal opponents to new infrastructure development.

New England is facing a perilous winter season because of this stifling of new infrastructure development over the past decade. The desire to act now is compelling…. Emergency powers, however, are not a long-term solution to this problem. Executive emergency powers are meant to address short-term, unanticipated scarcity.

Natural gas shortages and reliability concerns in New England are neither short-term, nor unanticipated…. ISO-New England and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have for many months called attention to the very real reliability issues likely to face the region in the coming winter months due to insufficient supply of natural gas.

Gordon van Welie, President and CEO of ISO-New England wrote to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm over the summer that, “[d]uring the coldest days of the year, New England does not have sufficient pipeline infrastructure to meet the region’s demand for natural gas for both home heating and power generation.” This exact concern has been raised repeatedly over the past decade and, this year, has been exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the spike in global demand for (non-Russian) LNG.

New England’s reliance on imported LNG is not sustainable, and the negative consequences of overreliance on imported LNG can be avoided with additional natural gas pipeline infrastructure. This solution is especially compelling considering the region’s proximity to the Marcellus shale production area, one of the most prolific natural gas supply basins in the world.

Despite those facts, key policymakers and officials in the region have been unwilling to accept the role that natural gas plays, and will continue to play, in New England’s energy mix and has led them to block the development of clearly needed new natural gas infrastructure. Put simply, natural gas and its related infrastructure are a necessary part of any lasting solution to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy to New England homes and businesses.

Natural gas maintains reliability when renewable resources, like wind and solar generation, are unable to perform as expected. As the North American Electric Reliability Corporation concluded, “natural gas is the reliability fuel that keeps the lights on, and natural gas policy must reflect this reality.” Policies that obstruct natural gas infrastructure development will continue to cause price spikes in a region already facing some of the highest prices in the nation.

The natural gas futures contract price for winter 2022–2023 at Henry Hub—a trading point in a non-constrained region—is averaging $6.82 MMBtu. By comparison, prices at Algonquin Citygate—a benchmark for New England—average $23.57 MMBtu. Such policies undermine the goals of a clean energy transition. In New England, pipeline constraints affect regional air emissions because ISO-New England has to run higher-emitting electricity generators when gas-fired units cannot access fuel or when the price of natural gas spikes.

New England power plants generated an estimated 4.18 million metric tons of CO2 in January 2022, up from 2.77 million metric tons in January 2021, with the region’s heavier reliance on oil accounting for most of the difference. This winter, more than ever, New England is at risk of an energy shortfall that will severely impact the people and businesses of the region. Next winter will come with even greater risks. And there does not need to be a prolonged cold spell for significant problems to arise. Just a few days of cold weather could wreak havoc on the region’s power grid, and in New England, cold weather is to be expected.

A serious conversation about how to address the region’s electric power needs must include the natural gas pipeline operators serving the region. Our infrastructure is the link between domestic natural gas production and downstream users, such as electricity generators and local gas utility companies. Domestic investment creates thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs and can provide households and businesses with additional disposable income from lower energy costs.

INGAA and its membership are willing and ready to meet with affected and relevant stakeholders to discuss the important and necessary role that natural gas and its related infrastructure plays in the region to ensure electric reliability. And while we do not believe the use of short-term emergency authorities will lead to a sustainable solution, if Secretary Granholm convenes such a group, interstate natural gas pipelines must be part of the conversation.

Final Comment

The above letter is politically correct by not challenging the core of the problem: climate alarmism and forced energy transformation to inferior wind and solar energies. INGAA should be on the battlewagon of affordable, plentiful, reliable energy for the masses, not for getting natural gas its share of the fuel pie at the expense of oil, coal, or the free market in general.

Somewhere, the natural gas Gods are laughing at the current situation of wind and solar triggering shortages and price spikes to benefit, artificially, the marginal fuel in power generation. An educational campaign is necessary to educate the general public to connect the authoritarian, poverty dots. Wind, solar, and batteries will then receive their comeuppance.

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November 15, 2022 6:25 pm

New England soon to be educated by the college of hard knocks.
Is there a windmill or solar panel producer that makes their product with energy generated solely with their own product?

Reply to  Mikeyj
November 15, 2022 9:13 pm

Is there a windmill or solar panel producer that makes their product with energy generated solely with their own product?

Solar panels and wind turbines are made in China. They use Australian met coal, Australian iron ore, Australian bauxite and their own thermal coal plus some nuclear for power generation. The Australian mines get a tiny fraction of their energy from weather dependent generators.

No intermittent power generator of current technology is capable of producing more energy over its operating life than that required to make it.

Solar panels are glossy coal able to return around 30% of their energy content over their operating life when used in an on-demand power system.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  RickWill
November 17, 2022 1:33 pm

People also often forget about the amount of concrete required to replace the base of a wind turbine: 1,500 tons of it, on average. There are few electrically powered mining machines to quarry the amount of limestone this requires, and no electrically powered calciners to convert it to calcium oxide, the principal ingredient in cement. I seriously doubt if the lifetime energy output of a wind turbine would be enough to power such equipment even if it existed.

“Renewable energy” – isn’t.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Mikeyj
November 16, 2022 4:28 am

as impossible as any perpetual motion machine

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Mikeyj
November 16, 2022 4:36 am

Put simply, unreliables can’t produce enough energy to power the machinery used to reproduce themselves – from mining and processing of raw materials, to transport, manufacture, site prep, site assembly, life cycle maintenance, and ultimate decommissioning – plus the back-up power needed for dark, windless days and nights.

Tom Halla
November 15, 2022 7:06 pm

When New England has a blackout, the wind and solar lobby will gaslight, and claim it was not their fault. Consider Texas in Feb 2021, and the response of the greens.

Barnes Moore
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2022 4:37 am

It’s Russia and Trump’s fault.

Reply to  Barnes Moore
November 16, 2022 10:32 am

Ironically, the NE has been a big customer of Russian fuel for the last several years – as they went to the mattresses to stop clean, cheap Pennsylvania natural gas from reaching them.

Reply to  MattXL
November 16, 2022 5:24 pm

Here in braindead Connecticut, a few years ago everywhere you would drive through the very rural area I live in had signs screaming “No Fracking” even though all that was being discussed was using energy from Pennsylvania. These people are all morons. I won’t be happy with blackouts this winter, but it won’t upset me to see them feeling the pain as well.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2022 5:46 am

If they could gaslight it would be something. But they will be short of gas.

November 15, 2022 7:40 pm

Never underestimate the self-flaggelating desires of Religious Green Zealots – their suffering in the cold created by their “green-thinking” is their sign of True Penance – and when older people DIE in the cold, that, too, is what Gaia demands…

Reply to  cartoonasaurus
November 16, 2022 4:23 am

Can we burn the bodies of the Religious Green Zealots who died from the cold to fire up our power generation plants?

Reply to  cartoonasaurus
November 16, 2022 5:42 pm

The problem is that the Green Zealots aren’t planning on dying, that’s what’s they want for everyone else.

November 15, 2022 7:54 pm

Crank up the superstorm something or other whining for federal assistance for the jerks.

November 15, 2022 9:55 pm

So now we know where the first “climate” deaths will occur in the U.S.
WEF’s plan is coming to fruition.

Phillip Bratby
November 15, 2022 11:00 pm

The statement “Natural gas maintains reliability when renewable resources, like wind and solar generation, are unable to perform as expected” is incorrect. Wind and solar are not expected to perform when needed, i.e. when it is cold and dark.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
November 16, 2022 1:35 pm

To put this another way, there can be no “expectation” of “performance” when discussing wind and solar; they operate at the whim of the weather (and time of day, for solar) and cannot ever be depended on to produce anything when actually needed.

Why sugar coat it?

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 16, 2022 5:44 pm

Even when the sun is up, clouds can randomize the output of solar.

Ron Long
November 16, 2022 1:48 am

So, what was Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm’s answer to the ISO-New England letter? Nothing? Imagine my surprise. On a probably related note New England did not elect a single Republican Senator or Representative this election cycle. Just saying.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 16, 2022 5:29 pm

I lived up here in New England for 23 years and spent most of my early life camping up here in the summer. I love the countryside and the land I live on. But the morons up here are almost impossible to suffer. They are the dumbest lifeforms to have ever walked upright upon the planet. Things are so screwed up politically and economically, but these idiots still continue re-electing the same imbeciles back into office. This is where the movie Idiocracy must have been filmed.

November 16, 2022 4:00 am

I’m laughing along with the NG gods. Now all they need is another COVID lockdown.

November 16, 2022 4:12 am

hope it snows here soon! that picture’s lovely
If it’s cold it’s climate change if it’s warm is warble gloaming

Reply to  Joy
November 16, 2022 4:44 am

This truck driver is backed into a dock in Newaygo, MI. A couple inches on the ground here and the trees have snow sticking on their branches.

I wish I could send it too you because I don’t want it. I suspect it is going to be a long, snowy, cold winter.

Reply to  rah
November 16, 2022 5:14 am

We usually get your weather after a week or so
So I’ll say thank you in advance, don’t use it all up

Reply to  rah
November 16, 2022 8:56 am

I’m on I-75 north of Gaylord and we’re in and out of white-outs.

Reply to  Yooper
November 16, 2022 9:46 am

Wow, sounds exciting
don’t rub it in though
We’ll just have a flurry and it’ll melt by Christmas

Reply to  rah
November 17, 2022 9:14 am

Pretty early in season for this amount of snowcover. Ground here in west MD covered.

Tom in Florida
November 16, 2022 4:17 am

If I recall, isn’t this problem magnified by the State of New York banning any new pipelines to New England through it’s territory?

Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 16, 2022 11:36 am

Good to see that you are alive, if not well, after the storm.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  DonK31
November 16, 2022 3:37 pm

Well thank you for that. I was about 20 miles from the really bad stuff, probably winds 95-100 mph from the amount of large, old oak trees that were uprooted and stripped clean. My house survived intact, lost only two strips of facia but luckily found them unbent and put them back up. I had metal storm shutters up, my singles had been upgraded to 125 mph so all was good. My previously fantastic tropical garden of a yard was 85% destroyed and it took me 5 weeks to clean it all up. I had no power for 9 days.
Other than that, we are good.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 16, 2022 3:44 pm

Glad you are well. If nobody dies and nobody gets badly hurt, all is good. At least that is what I always told my kids if they told me something bad happened. So nothing bad ever happened.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Tom in Florida
November 16, 2022 1:38 pm

Yup, NY Eco-Nazis are determined to inflict their stupidity on everyone.

Not that the Eco-Nazis in New England are any different or any better.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
November 16, 2022 5:32 pm

They’re worse. The dumbest lifeforms on the planet, and very proud of being so.

November 16, 2022 4:20 am

Considering the Greens did everything they could to kill every power/energy project that would have eliminated these shortages, is any of this a surprise?

Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline? Dead.

Northern Pass powerline to bring in cheap, abundant, and ‘green’ hydropower from Quebec? Dead.

CMP powerline to bring in cheap, abundant, and ‘green’ hydropower from Quebec? Dead.

Power shortages and electricity rates doubling (or more) have followed, much of that because natural gas prices caused by the need to buy LNG on the open market rather than being to get it from domestic gas fields in Pennsylvania and no ability to bring in power from Quebec.

Thank goodness I got my woodstove installed earlier this fall and have enough cordwood to heat my home over the winter.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DCE
November 16, 2022 4:35 am

There is a vast amount of shale gas in NY but that state won’t allow fracking- and it’s right next to New England. And even if it did, New England doesn’t seem to want it. I suggest that the New England woke crowd is the worst on the planet.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 16, 2022 4:49 am

New England wants it, but it’s the ‘wrong’ New Englanders who want it. The Greens don’t want it and they are well funded. They don’t care if people die…as long as it isn’t them dying. Maybe it’s time for them to feel the effects of their actions.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DCE
November 16, 2022 5:00 am

You’re right- I’m here in the middle of the region. The greens hate all fossil fuels, hate nuclear, hate hydro because they don’t want rivers dammed, they hate pumped storage projects (on in Mass. but they keep trying to close it), they hate woody biomass (they stopped several such facilities)- and now, they hate large scale solar because they’re seeing them in THEIR neighborhoods- it was OK when they were mostly in low income rural areas- like where I live- when I opposed one being built nearby, I got zero support from the greens- and of course they want NO wind energy on land. They think they can get all the energy we need by rooftop solar, but a few years ago, a state of Mass. energy czar said publicly that it was impossible to do it all with rooftop solar- not even close, not even just for electricity, never mind heat, transportation and industry. The greens here are lunatics showing no desire to compromise. The irony is that the weather here is BETTER now. I know as I’ve worked outdoors for 50 years as a forester. It’s a bit warmer and that’s a good thing.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 16, 2022 5:36 pm

I’m in NE Connecticut, and the people up here are colossal morons. They’ve lived their entire lives on the back of sensible working people and couldn’t have survived childhood without them. Unfortunately, the stupid lot of them are still intellectually children, and spoiled ones at that always stomping their feet and taking tantrums.

Reply to  DCE
November 16, 2022 4:50 am

In anticipation of skyrocketing NG prices I installed a fireplace insert a couple months ago.

I have available enough cut hardwood to fuel it for several years. Most of the wood is already cut short enough and split small enough to fit. I just have to take my Pickup the 20 mi round trip to go get it and after cutting and spliting the pieces too large I stack it in the lean-to I built on the back of my garage.

During this cold snap I got to use it for 30 straight hours. I now know that It will heat the whole house. Every room in the house, except the bathrooms, has ceiling fans. Those combined with a pedestal fan serve to circulate the heated air even to the bedroom furthest away from the fireplace. I figure I will get back the $4,200 I have invested in the thing in two winters based on current NG price.

Since I live in Indiana where sanity still generally prevails, I am not concerned about them outlawing wood burning.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  rah
November 16, 2022 5:49 am

If your cut wood is 10 miles away I hope it is well hidden from sight of the nearest road. I have a friend who had a big stack of cut wood next to his house that was stolen while the family was at work. It’s only going to get worse as energy costs go up.

Ireneusz Palmowski
November 16, 2022 4:43 am

Due to the blockage of the polar vortex over the Bering Sea, Arctic-continental air masses continue to flow into the US. It promises to be a historic winter in the US.
comment image

Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
November 16, 2022 5:20 am

I think it is going to flow back & forth with intermittent periods of average or warmer than average temps. The teleconnections are sending mixed signals. But overall I believe we are in for a substantially longer and colder winter than we’ve seen in quite some time.

Reply to  rah
November 16, 2022 5:32 am

I have been saying this on this space for some time. The horses started shedding their summer coats at the end of June and growing new long thick winter coats soon after. It is beginning to look like they are right.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  starzmom
November 16, 2022 5:52 am

It’s what the Farmers Almanac is predicting for much of the US. I trust them far more than any government agency forecast.

Reply to  Tim Gorman
November 16, 2022 9:16 am

Lots of talk at an event recently – all the long-time rural families were agreeing “warm November means a hard winter”

Maybe not worth much scientifically but fits everything else I’ve seen lately.

Reply to  Tony_G
November 16, 2022 11:09 am

When the observation agrees with the prediction, science is served.

Ireneusz Palmowski
Reply to  rah
November 16, 2022 5:48 am

Look at the pattern of the polar vortex in the lower stratosphere. This will be a historic winter in the US and Europe.
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Here you can keep up to date.
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Temperatures in Colorado overnight dropped to -20 degrees C.

Richard M
Reply to  Ireneusz Palmowski
November 16, 2022 6:56 am

Where I live the forecast is 20-30 F below average later this week and staying below average for the rest of November.

Walter Sobchak
November 16, 2022 6:08 am

We are so boned.

November 16, 2022 6:18 am

With diesel fuel at such low levels the next issue is how do you ration it out.

Come heavy snow all the plows need it, the food delivery trucks need it, the fire trucks need it, some personal vehicles. what will the increased cost do to local finances? We are screwed.

It takes lots of energy to get rid of 2 feet of snow.

November 16, 2022 10:31 am

Isn’t it an old saying, “A conservative is a Liberal who’s been mugged”? I think lots of Liberal caterpillars in the Northeast USA are going to morph into Conservative butterflies by next spring.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MattXL
November 16, 2022 1:46 pm

Let’s hope – but then these people will have to develop some sense they clearly don’t have.

November 16, 2022 10:39 am

Congress owns the US military. The President is the Commander in Chief – of the Congress’ military. Congress routinely buys needed ships and jets that its military did not request. Congress should purchase massive quantities of pristine clean, coal-based diesel for its military, AKA the World’s Top Consumer of Diesel.

The beneficial impact of such a move would reach out across our economy and beyond. It could rival the emergence of fracked US fuel a decade ago.

Reply to  MattXL
November 16, 2022 3:47 pm

Congress appears to be too focused on investigating lots of Republicans and sending money to Ukraine. I doubt they will even think of this. Have they ordered electric tanks yet?

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
November 16, 2022 11:22 am

A decade of natural gas pipeline obstruction? No, at least four (4) decades.

Bob Hunter
November 16, 2022 11:22 am

Reminder what was said on WUWT 3 days ago “U.S. famously has the world’s largest gas field (Appalachia) that is unable to get its vast production to a gas-starved U.S. east coast a scant hundred miles away – all due to pipeline blocking antics from anti-hydrocarbon governments and their ENGO Naginis (ask Harry Potter)”

Sadly today and the other article’s details/facts never make it to mainstream media.

November 16, 2022 11:34 am

Walter Keane
November 17, 2022 12:57 pm

New Hampshire receives about 50 percent of its electricity from the Seabrook Nuclear power plant. There are two co-generation (coal and natural gas) power plants on the Merrimack river (out of five, originally). Hydro power is available and in use along the Connecticut river, from towns north of Lancaster and to the south as well. There are hydro turbines running on the Contoocook river in Hopkinton and on the Piscataquog river in Manchester. I’m sure I could mention more, but enough for now.

Regarding Quebec Hydropower, when one of their turbines had to be shut down for repairs a few years ago, the entire plant was shut down, meaning no power available. Regarding a new gas pipeline from the Marcellus shale, yes, Andrew Cuomo shut down any discussion of a pipeline to New England; but, what people fail to realize is that Massachusetts would not allow the pipeline to be built following the Mass Pike (easiest route) to Dracut and further east, to ports for shipment on LNG tankers overseas.

By the way, as “dumb” as some commenters believe New Englanders to be, out of respect for others, we would not say how impressed we are that building codes in other states allow for the total destruction of property by hurricanes and tornados, or mudslides in California. So, if you can endure in your regions, we will survive in our’s.

BorisNota Russian
November 17, 2022 1:12 pm

A number of solutions are available to this area of the US.

  1. Stop listening to these climate zealots and giving in to them. First it was get rid of coal. Then it was reduce consumption. Then these same zealots are trying to ban Natural Gas now.
  2. Remove the offshore oil and gas development ban for the Northeast US. The Sable Gas fields and the Offshore fields off of Nova Scotia show there is an abundance of fossil fuels off of the Northeast. It is time to develop those reserves.
  3. Lobby the Canadian government to allow for the return of production of oil and gas in the Sable Gas field. The facilities are sitting idle there since 2016 when the Trudeau government refused to issue any more drilling permits to allow for continued production with more drilling. The natural gas supplies going to the Boston and Maine area from the Northeast Maritime pipeline are coming from an operating LNG importation facility in St. John New Brunswick owned by Irving Oil. This gas supply could be returned to almost triple the capacity if the Sable field was allowed to return to production.
  4. Allow for the extension of existing pipelines from the southern Columbia and the Iroquois pipeline systems. Governor Chomo was one of the detractors of pipeline expansions and he was able to veto quite a number of them while he was in office.
November 18, 2022 1:41 pm

They keep saying New England does not have the NG infrastructure, but unless NY is included in New England, they are missing the big obstacle. To get NG from where it is it MUST traverse NY, and NY has been the one blocking new pipeline capacity for over 10 years. And wanting to shut down existing pipelines!

Then they are forcing NYC residents and business to transition to electricity because they do not have enough capacity to meet demand.

These people are evil. This may very well be the winter that this nonsense will kill thousands in New York and New England.

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